STANLEY (1972) Reviews of rattlesnake horror

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‘ …will make your skin crawl’
Stanley is a 1972 American horror film produced and directed by William Grefé (The Jaws of Death; Impulse; Death Curse of TartuSting of Death) from a screenplay written by Gary Crutcher, based on Grefé’s storyline.

The movie stars Chris Robinson, Alex Rocco (Don’t Sleep; Lady in White; Return to Horror High) and Steve Alaimo.

The deadly snake-with-a-name movie was presumably inspired by rats-with-names horror hits Willard (1971) and Ben (1972). In the US, Stanley was distributed by Crown International Pictures.

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Reviews [may contain spoilers]:

“Vietnam is paid such little lip service that it needn’t been involved in the plot at all. He has PTSD, and that’s that. Director William Grefé (Impulse) seems more interested in the attacks […] In fact, the different ways that the film utilizes them – a swimming pool, a bed, a strip club – will only add to the list of possible nightmares.” Daily Dead

” …it has that oversaturated, grungy look familiar to anyone who’s stumbled into another Grefé special like Mako: Jaws of Death. Really it’s all about the atmosphere and the death scenes, with enough dead air in between to let drive-in patrons run out to get a refill on their soda and popcorn.” Mondo Digital


” …manages a few good moments, including the death of an exotic dancer and her manager by Tim’s beloved crawlers. Above all, Robinson (perhaps best known for his long-running role on the daytime soap opera General Hospital) gives a solid show as Tim, with a slow mental deterioration that culminates in a fiery, loyalty-free climax.” The Terror Trap

Stanley is an odd, odd film and there is no fuckin’ way it would get made today with its crazy elements and even crazier characters. The movie’s low budget, but there are some surprisingly good performances and a few others that are really rough that help remind the viewer Stanley didn’t cost much to make.” Digital Retribution

” …it’s the best movie of William Grefe’s I’ve seen; however, that’s not saying much when you consider the other movies I’ve seen of his are Death Curse of Tartu and Sting of Death. It does manage to be actually quite touching when Stanley (the snake) becomes a father; it’s Chris Robinson’s best moment in the movie.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“Though the script doesn’t allow for much more than a typical revenge plot, it’s the quirky characters and various scenarios involving the snakes (which the film even manages to give some empathy to) that make Stanley satisfying drive-in fodder, and director Grefe makes the most of the Floridian landscapes with some truly scenic cinematography.” DVD Drive-In

” …though this movie is certifiable crap, you want to see it. Because you’ve read this far, and you’re willing to forgive director William Grefé for decades-old animal slaughter (which you’ll see plenty of in this uncut 107-minute version). Funny, confusing, shocking and disturbing, Stanley should be on your sleazy list, weirdo.” DVD Talk


Stanley is bad, but so bad it is good. The movie goes from real to surreal by having scenes like Tim eating dinner with the snakes and making little graves. It then takes a real turn in the final act with Tim just going completely insane and out of character…” Basement Rejects

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